As it is written, “See, I lay in Zion a stone that makes men stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” Romans 9:33
Not many suspected the child who laid in the manger was the rock spoken about in the prophecies. The angels proclaimed the birth of a Savior and the shepherds spread the news. The magi came from far away to see this newborn king. Even Saul was interested in the birth—but not for the right reasons.
I wonder how many forgot about Jesus after that night in Bethlehem. Did the shepherds who came to see Him and invited others to share in their happiness believe years later when Jesus was a man who would make His way to the cross to die for their sins?
How many times have you stumbled over a rock? Often when that happens it’s because we didn’t see it. We’re walking along enjoying the scenery or visiting with our companions, not looking around for things in our path when suddenly we find ourselves on the ground—perhaps with a new perspective?
This is exactly what Scripture tells us to those who trusted in their good works for their salvation. Many in Jesus’ day believed their righteousness was gained because they followed the rules. If they check the shoulds and ought-tos off the list they are a shoe-in for Heaven. After all, isn’t God looking for obedient children?
Jesus came to give us a different perspective. He taught that faith in Hi gives us the assurance of salvation. God wants us to obey out of love and not because we fear we’ll lose our spot in Heaven if we mess up. He wants us to know that we have no righteousness on our own but through the sacrifice of Jesus.
While those who try to be made right through their works will stumble on Jesus, the Rock who is the only way to eternal life those who trust in Jesus will stand on the Rock and never stumble over it. When we who believe stand before God we will not be put to shame. He will welcome us just as the shepherds and others were welcomed to the manger.